Michael Douglas to Play Liberace in Soderbergh Flick


Director Steven Soderbergh will direct Michael Douglas as Liberace in an upcoming biopic, Variety reports:

“The filmmaker said he has drafted his ‘Traffic’ star Michael Douglas to play the flamboyant pianist. Richard LaGravanese is writing the script, and Jerry Weintraub will produce. Soderbergh is in discussions with Matt Damon to play Scott Thorson, who sued Liberace in 1982 for $113 million in palimony, claiming he was the entertainer’s companion for five years. Even though Liberace never wavered from career-long denials that he was gay, Thorson reportedly settled for $95,000 in 1986. Liberace died in 1987 of complications from AIDS at age 67.”

Variety says Soderbergh has two films ready to go before this one, so it may be a while. Maybe by that time Clay Aiken will have aged enough to take over the role.

*NOTE – image for illustration purposes only (if you can’t tell by my poor photoshopping), not any kind of official shot.


  1. Derrick from Philly says

    THE QUEEN, doesn’t it make you furious when some straight bastard steals a movie part that was just made for us? ‘Course we couldn’t do the “in the closet” stuff. Aint never been no closet big enough for us.

    It’s like when they had the actor Leon play Little Richard on NBC. I was fit to be tied, “ouuuuw!”

    Actually, I guess Libby was never in a real closet, “she” just thought she was, and American women allowed “her” to believe it.

  2. the queen says

    “Maybe by that time Clay Aiken will have aged enough to take over the role.” — ANDY you crack me up!

    MISS DERRICK, yes, I agree, this part is typecasting for us… and you’re right, the “closet stuff” would be a stretch but with the help of Larry Craig’s acting coach I could do it… Douglas is a good actor and with the right coaching should pee in this flick… I’m looking forward to seeing this one…

  3. Dback says

    They did a TV movie version of this story years ago, with Victor Garber (bless him) in the title role. As talented as Douglas can be (“Wall Street” “Wonder Boys” “Traffic”), and as talented as Soderbergh is, I don’t get a good vibe on this. Still, I didn’t think the first “Ocean’s 11″ was going to turn out to be anything special, and look how that turned out. (Soderbergh’s also worked with Damon on “Oceans” and Douglas on “Traffic,” so he’ll be in a comfort zone.) Well, we’ll see.

  4. says

    There was another TV movie version of Liberace’s life made, starring Andy Robinson, as well as the Victor Garber version.

    Just what we need, another movie about a pathetically closeted gay man whose love life is a pathetic disaster and who winds up dying. Directed by and starring straight men, of course.

    On second thought, I actually doubt this will come to pass. Things like this have a way of not happening.

  5. says

    And do you remember who write the Victor Garber version?

    Gavin Lambert!

    Soderbergh’s a good director and after his two-part Che Guevara movie (which has yet to be pciked up for release) I can easily see him wanting to try something WAY different. But Michael Douglas? And not simply beauce he’s straight. I can’t see anything in any of her previous performance that suggest his capability of playing someone as singular as Liberace.

    Interesting to think of who among A-list males might be better suited for it. This isn’t just any gay man. This is a show biz and mass culture phenom.

    Michael Douglas?

  6. crispy says

    Actually, “Che” has been acquired and will be released in theaters this December to qualify for awards season. Guess you don’t know everything.

    As for this Liberace flick, I’m concerned about the number of animals that will be killed for the wardrobe.

  7. Leland Frances says

    Ya think “comedy is hard, tragedy is easy”? Try realistically Sure, it was easy for what’s his fuck to steal the Oscar from Heath Ledger by mimicking Truman Capote [which any 10-year old could do], but Capote was Rambo compared to Lee. How do you dramatize a parody for two hours and get people to buy tickets for it? Particularly when I’ve seen no reason to believe that Liberace was anything more than an idiot savant. He was brilliant at converting camp into cash, a genuine entertainer, and actually gifted pianist who, unfortunately, ultimately smothered his musicianship under a thick gravy of personality.

    But his life off stage apparently consisted of little more than insatiable conspicuous consumption [much of it tax deductible as he was a sly fox frequently trying to deduct the cost of the actual fox, mink, ermine, chinchilla, diamonds, ad nauseum he wore off stage as “costume” extensions of his act], pursuing cookie cutter younger boy blonds [real or bottle] with a passion that John “Ursula Andress-Linda Evans-Bo” Derek would applaud, and denying, in and out of court, that he was gay.

    And tons of 50s women didn’t “let” him pretend to be straight, they BELIEVED it; helped along by various magazines articles and at least one book I own, “The Loves of Liberace” which portrays him dating/close to marrying various starlets.

    While we’ve progressed—to a degree—beyond the need for stereotypically gay “entertainers” to pretend to be straight, American society prefers its gays “FLAAAAMING!” hence the success of non-threatening queens for a day like Carson and Ross the Intern and Alec Mapa and Bobby Trendy and and and and… Come to think of it, Kressley’s middle name is already Lee. Dump Douglas and cast Carson. He’s a natural. And dump Damon, too. Reichen could play all the bleached blond gold diggers. Talk about type casting!

  8. Derrick from Philly says

    “And tons of 50s women didn’t “let” him pretend to be straight, they BELIEVED it…”

    Well, that explains the large crowds for this Alaska hockey gal….but….but…but the majority of people in this country aint stupid…not that stupid.

  9. says

    Robin Williams as Seymour Heller Lee’s managar?
    Gary Sinise as Liberace’s brother?
    Kathy Bates as Frances, Liberace’s mother?
    Kirk Douglas as Salvatore, Liberace’s father?
    Kurt Russell as Elvis Presley?
    I almost thought he was Elvis?!!!!!
    Matt Damon as Scott Thorson?
    Matt could do”The Elton John Story”if he wanted
    Michael Douglas as Liberace?
    Why not? And get another Oscar too!!!!!

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